| Unics Kazan is a new Last 16 team stands at the top of the Group D ladder thanks to a valuable road win by 62-66 on Tuesday night at Telekom Bonn. The win lifts Unics to a 4-0 record to stay undefeated and march into the second phase, while Telekom Bonn drops to 0-4 and is out of the race for the Last 16. Unics dominated the first minutes of the game, but two technical fouls called on Terrel Lyday allowed Bonn to react with a 21-5 burst that put them in control again just starting the second half, 40-38. From tehn on, things remained unclear for both teams until Marko Popovic sealed the deal in the last minute. Popovic led the winners with his 19 points, Kresimir Loncar added 14, Lyday 13 and Vladimir Veremeenko posted 11 for Unics. For Telekom Bonn, Bryce Taylor led the way with 18 and Ronald Dupree contributed 16 for the losing team.
Bryce Taylor and Kresimir Loncar traded baskets to start the scoring in the game, 2-2. The first minutes featured high-paced scoring as it soon was 9-9 with Tim Ohlbrecht and Igor Zamanskiy threes for each
side. Unics seemed to be taking slight control of the situation by managing to stay ahead in each play, as Zamanskiy scored again for 11-14. The collective effort in offense of Unics was paying off for a
15-20 lead as Telekom Bonn was struggling from the arc and with rebounds. The scoring run of the guests improved to 2-10 as Petr Samoylenko nailed a free throw to close the first quarter with a 15-24 Unics
lead. Alex King could finally add points to Bonn's column to start the second quarter but then, Unics replied with to straight baskets to maintain the order. Unics was having a sweet moment in offense when
Terrell Lyday nailed a three for a 19-33 lead in minute 15. At this point, Telekom Bonn stroke back with an 13-3 burst with protagonism for Ronald Dupree and Taylor from the free throw line after Lyday was
called for consecutive technical fouls. The hosts got as close as 33-36 but Marko Popovic was now stepping up from downtown to keep Unics ahead. However, Taylor's insistence allowed the hosts to finally tie
the game again, 38-38, completing a 19-5 run, to send the game into halftime.
Dupree slammed the ball for Bonn top open the second half and put the hosts ahead again, 40-38, and from that moment, both teams started to trade baskets to keep tying the game. The rebounds battle was
balanced at this point but the hosts still struggled form the arc with a 2 of 11. Good free throw accuracy, solid percentages from the field and the 10 assists versus Unics' 6 allowed them to keep adding
points. But the guests didn't give up and through Loncar and Vladimir Veremeenko, they had a 0-4 to get some air again, but Dupree (who else?) kept his momentum going for his 14th point, 46-48. Lyday stormed
back on court with five straight points of his own to boost Unics but free throws by Taylor close the third period with a 50-53 Unics lead. Things stayed hot for the first half of the decisive period as
Unics was always ahead, but Telekom Bonn never let go. Lyday opened the quarter with a three-point play while Taylor, Johannse Strasser and Patrick Flomo kept the hosts alive, 56-60 entering minute 38. With
defenses at full throttle and some doubts in offense for both sides, points came up scarce at this moment. Chris Ensminger and Loncar traded free throws as the clock ticked away, and entering the last
minute, Popovic left a layup for 58-64 that could prove decisive. Popovic added a later free throw but Taylor and Flomo scored for their team making it 62-66 but there was no time for more as Unics managed
to pull a valuable road win.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009